Finding a Way Through

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Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum 2007
35 x 45 cms
Wall Drawing:
2 x 3 m
2 x 3 m
87 x 30 x 30 cms
21 x 12 cms


Finding my way from the outside of the Royal Pump Rooms building to the temporary exhibition space is not a straightforward route; circular and automatic doors have to be negotiated, and twists and turns made through the various rooms that make up the whole of the building called the Pump Rooms. I then arrive at a sealed, contained space with no visible link to the outside world. By examining the architectural plans and exploring the outside of the building, I have discovered that the temporary exhibition space is in fact a newly built addition; on the outside of the space have been placed false windows, to match the existing windows. Close to the outside wall of the gallery flows the River Leam, and close by is the ancient well, which is the reason these Pump Rooms are here. Inside the gallery there is no connection with this flowing body of water.

My exhibition became a homage to rivers, and a metaphor for my life. The drawings are a reflection of my life as River Jo, the twists and turns that have been made. The wall vinyl shows the underlying strata that I had to work through to become an artist. The film, beautifully made by Dom Breadmore, was the river the other side of the gallery wall, and showed it from sunrise to sunset. There was a sculpture for each week the exhibition was on, and visitors were asked to select a pebble and add to that weeks core sample.

You can read an essay about the exhibition here, by Dr Chloe Johnson, (Senior Curator) Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.